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, 9 (1), 69-78

Clinical Assessment of Behavioral Coping Responses: Preliminary Results From a Brief Inventory

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Clinical Assessment of Behavioral Coping Responses: Preliminary Results From a Brief Inventory

Lance M McCracken et al. Eur J Pain.

Abstract

Patients and clinicians sometimes take coping with chronic pain primarily as a process of gaining more control over pain. An alternate approach might include helping the pain sufferer to discriminate parts of their situation that can be effectively controlled from those that cannot. When faced with situations that do not yield to attempts at direct control patients may gain better results from leaving those situations as they are and investing their efforts elsewhere. This study was designed to examine this type of expanded view of coping with pain, a view that includes both attempts at control and acceptance. 200 adults seeking treatment for chronic pain were the subjects of this investigation. They completed a number of self-report inventories including a measure called the Brief Pain Coping Inventory, an inventory assessing accepting responses to pain as well as pain management responses standardly targeted by cognitive-behavioral treatment methods. Preliminary results showed that the BPCI yields scores with adequate temporal consistency and validity. Further results showed that a number of the responses assessed by the BPCI were reliable predictors of patient functioning. In general less frequent struggling to control pain, fewer palliative and avoidant coping responses, and more explicit persistence with activity despite acknowledged pain were associated with less depression and anxiety and greater life functioning. These results demonstrate that, in some instances, attempts at avoidance and control of chronic pain may be less helpful compared with a willingness to experience pain and focus on functioning.

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